August 26, 2014

Dr. Mouradian announces retirement

Dr. Wendy Mouradian, Associate Dean for Regional and Interprofessional Affairs and founder of the RIDE regional program, has announced that she will retire on Sept. 15.

Dr. Mouradian

Dr. Wendy Mouradian will continue to advise the School of Dentistry on curriculum revision, interprofessional education and the expansion of the RIDE program.

While Dr. Mouradian will be officially retiring from her full-time duties, she will continue to work part time to advise on curriculum revision, interprofessional education and RIDE, Dean Joel Berg said.

“It’s all but impossible to imagine where we’d be without her voice and vision,” Dean Berg said. “When you look at the intersection of medicine and dentistry, there are very few people who figure as prominently as Wendy Mouradian.” He said that with Dr. Mouradian’s support, he will temporarily spearhead a proposed expansion of the Regional Initiatives in Dental Education program.

Dr. Mouradian said the time was right for her move, with Dr. Sara Gordon’s arrival on Oct. 1 as the new Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, as well as Dr. Frank Roberts taking leadership of the RIDE program and Dr. John Evans heading up implementation of the School’s revamped curriculum – all areas where Dr. Mouradian has played major roles.

“Changes in clinical efficiency, organizational structure and curriculum are moving forward to define the dentist of the future with a truly unique UW vision,” she said. “It has been a great privilege contributing to this work.”

Dr. Mouradian has long been one of the nation’s most visible and influential voices in efforts to improve children’s oral health.

A pediatrician by training, she co-chaired the first national summit on children’s oral health in 2008, and several years earlier organized the U.S. Surgeon General’s Conference on Children and Oral Health for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. That conference was part of the rollout of “Oral Health in America,” a landmark report from the Surgeon General in 2000.

In 2009, she co-edited a special issue on children’s oral health by the journal Academic Pediatrics, examining progress made toward the goals set by the surgeon general’s report. She also has served as an oral health adviser to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and has co-chaired an American Association of Medical Colleges and American Dental Education Association joint panel to develop common curricula for medical and dental students.

In 2010, the federal government named her an oral health advisor to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which seeks to improve access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable. She took on these duties in addition to her work at the UW, where she was also a professor of pediatric dentistry and pediatrics at the Schools of Dentistry and Medicine and also held adjunct appointments in Dental Public Health Sciences and Health Services (School of Public Health).

More recently, she has led the School of Dentistry’s discussions with the School of Medicine on incorporating oral health more fully into the medical-school curriculum. She has also been a national leader in enlisting pediatricians to help fight childhood dental disease, playing a key role in the AAP’s efforts to get its members more involved in caries screening and prevention.

One of Dr. Mouradian’s signature achievements was RIDE, which this year graduated its third cohort of students. The innovative program, in which students spend their first year and part of their fourth year in Eastern Washington, seeks to address access-to-care issues in rural and underserved areas of the state. It also offers students an enriched clinical experience and has been a leader in distance-learning technology.

Noting that the state Board of Health has recommended expanding the RIDE program to address dental work force needs for underserved populations, Dr. Mouradian said, “We now think about wanting RIDE types of experiences for all students.”

Said Dean Berg: “We would not have this groundbreaking program without Wendy.”

Dr. Mouradian, who spent more than a decade in private pediatric practice in Washington state, came to the School of Dentistry in 1998 after serving as director of the craniofacial program of Seattle Children’s hospital. She was named associate dean in 2007.